Maria Sharapova shocked the wider sports world when she announced her retirement from professional tennis last week, via Vogue and Vanity Fair first-person pieces.
The girl's got grit, as she said herself, and one thing that's surely not going anywhere is her sense of style. Then there was her softer side. The arguable No. 1 tennis fashion icon has trotted out an array of dazzling, conversation-starting match looks over her career, in addition to the dozens of wardrobes full of her best off-court ensembles. Here, in no verifiable order, we salute the former—her best on-court kits from nearly two decades of sweating out matches ranging from all-out marathons to missile-riddled clinics.
Australian Open 2019: Sharapova grew into a fondness for prints late in her career, after a bevy of early solid hues for a few years. Rarely, until the 2010 Aussie Open, did she step outside of such color-blocking, but her second-to-last showing in Melbourne was one to remember, sartorially speaking and otherwise. Call it faux–tie-dye, but she made a statement in it.
US Open 2017: Formerly of Givenchy, a Sharapova off-court staple, Riccardo Tisci decked out Sharapova in Swarovski crystals at a $600 off-the-rack cost. Suffice it to say, the Russian has a knack for often looking expensive. She's often relished black under the New York lights, where she saw outsize success—and this isn't the last such look from her nights out in Queens. While there was a lot going on, top to bottom, in the look, it got people talking about tennis and fashion, which has long been a Sharapova skill.
Australian Open 2010: A true fashion risk, her Grand Slam look a decade out from her final match flashed a peacock motif. It wasn't for everyone, but it was a gamble—and thus, symbolic of her career on the whole. She could be remembered for going for broke with her game and, at times, her style.
Roland Garros 2015: Sharapova played it preppy-cool with this outing's horizontal stripes and pleated skirt. Call it a perfect merger betwixt J.Crew and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Mallorca Open 2019: As aforementioned, Sharapova stiff-armed prints near the start of her career, and at various times over the years. This one was striking, with subtle belting drawn at the front hip. In still form and in motion, it appeared a work of art. Utterly photographable, almost origami masquerading as a tennis dress. A splendid Sharapova style moment on court.
US Open 2005: Tennis can be strange, and one of those times was surely the juxtaposition of one Hall of Famer, 36-year-old Kim Clijsters, returning to the tour's limelight while another surefire Hall of Famer, the 32-year-old Sharapova, exited that stage. The two traded racquet jabs over some truly good matches, with Clijsters edging Sharapova out 5-4. In this particular match and event, Sharapova looked resplendent in a pale blue with yellow piping.
Remembering moments. Sharapova vs Clijsters US Open 2005 pic.twitter.com/bU1yiBn81E— Denisse Elizabeth (@Deneliza75) October 11, 2015
US Open 2007: With a print at her clavicles that depicted the New York skyline—as adorned by dozens of Swarovski crystals, naturally—the "atomic red" take on this frock was what truly won the day (or the night, as it were).
Wimbledon 2008: Sharapova Wimble-donned a brilliant, unique tuxedo-and-shorts kit for the year's truly regal major. This flipped the script on the concept of SW19 being only for standardized, uninspired white. Message to her now-former colleagues: Take copious notes—and act on them.
Roland Garros 2008: That particular year proved a decidedly fantastic one for Sharapova in terms of on-court style points, as evidenced by the tux motif and the preceding outfit in Paris. That dress's white lines hit at all the right places for her statuesque figure, as Sharapova herself sought to strike the lines with her ultra-flat strokes. Black-and-white will always come off clean and crisp.
US Open 2006: Sharapova has long been a culture vulture, and her love for Audrey Hepburn's turn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, wearing the heaven out of an LBD—that's little black dress, for the uninformed—was parlayed into what may go down as her most iconic match look. It hardly hurt that she went all the way to the title in it, locking down her second major title by outdoing Justine Henin.